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      Synthesis and Bioactivity of N-(4-Chlorophenyl)-4-Methoxy-3-(Methylamino) Benzamide as a Potential Anti-HBV Agent

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          Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global health concern that can cause acute and chronic liver diseases. Thus, there is an urgent need to research novel anti-HBV agents. Our previous reports show that N-phenylbenzamide derivatives exert broad-spectrum antiviral effects against HIV-1, HCV, and EV71 by increasing intracellular levels of APOBEC3G (A3G). As A3G is capable of inhibiting the replication of HBV, we screened the N-phenylbenzamide derivatives against HBV.


          In this study, a new derivative, N-(4-chlorophenyl)-4-methoxy-3-(methylamino) benzamide (IMB-0523), was synthesized and its anti-HBV activity was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The acute toxicity and pharmacokinetic profiles of IMB-0523 were also investigated.


          Our results show that IMB-0523 has higher anti-HBV activity in both wild-type HBV (IC 50: 1.99 µM) and drug-resistant HBV (IC 50: 3.30 µM) than lamivudine (3TC, IC 50: 7.37 µM in wild-type HBV, IC 50: >440 µM in drug-resistant HBV). The antiviral effect of IMB-0523 against HBV may be due to an increased level of intracellular A3G. IMB-0523 also showed low acute toxicity (LD 50: 448 mg/kg) in mice and promising PK properties (AUC 0-t: 7535.10±2226.73 µg·h/L) in rats. Further, IMB-0523 showed potent anti-HBV activity in DHBV-infected ducks.


          Thus, IMB-0523 may be a potential anti-HBV agent with different mechanisms than current anti-HBV treatment options.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Retroviral restriction by APOBEC proteins.

          A powerful mechanism of vertebrate innate immunity has been discovered in the past year, in which APOBEC proteins inhibit retroviruses by deaminating cytosine residues in nascent retroviral cDNA. To thwart this cellular defence, HIV encodes Vif, a small protein that mediates APOBEC degradation. Therefore, the balance between APOBECs and Vif might be a crucial determinant of the outcome of retroviral infection. Vertebrates have up to 11 different APOBEC proteins, with primates having the most. APOBEC proteins include AID, a probable DNA mutator that is responsible for immunoglobulin-gene diversification, and APOBEC1, an RNA editor with antiretroviral activities. This APOBEC abundance might help to tip the balance in favour of cellular defences.
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            Extensive editing of both hepatitis B virus DNA strands by APOBEC3 cytidine deaminases in vitro and in vivo.

            Because the replication of hepatitis B virus (HBV) proceeds via an obligatory reverse transcription step in the viral capsid, cDNA is potentially vulnerable to editing by cytidine deaminases of the APOBEC3 family. To date only two edited HBV genomes, referred to as G --> A hypermutants, have been described in vivo. Recent work suggested that HBV replication was indeed restricted by APOBEC3G but by a mechanism other than editing. The issue of restriction has been explored by using a sensitive PCR method allowing differential amplification of AT-rich DNA. G --> A hypermutated HBV genomes were recovered from transfection experiments involving APOBEC3B, -3C, -3F, and -3G indicating that all four enzymes were able to extensively deaminate cytidine residues in minus-strand DNA. Unexpectedly, three of the four enzymes (APOBEC3B, -3F, and -3G) deaminated HBV plus-strand DNA as well. From the serum of two of four patients with high viremia, G --> A hypermutated genomes were recovered at a frequency of approximately 10(-4), indicating that they are, albeit relatively rare, part of the natural cycle of HBV infection. These findings suggest that human APOBEC3 enzymes can impact HBV replication via cytidine deamination.
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              Deamination-independent inhibition of hepatitis B virus reverse transcription by APOBEC3G.

              The APOBEC3 family of mammalian cytidine deaminases, including APOBEC3G (A3G), has been shown to function as innate antiviral factors against retroviruses and can also suppress the replication of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The mechanism by which A3G inhibits HBV replication remains to be elucidated. In this study, we show that the inhibitory effect of APOBEC3 proteins on HBV replication was mainly at the DNA level, with only a minor effect on viral RNA packaging. The anti-HBV effect of A3G was independent of the DNA-editing function, and the mode of inhibition was not due to HBV DNA degradation. The editing-independent antiviral activity of A3G could target DNA-RNA hybrids as well as single-stranded DNA. Finally, we show that there was a preferential decrease in the accumulation of longer minus-strand DNA by A3G, compared to the shorter minus-strand DNA, and suggest that A3G exerts its inhibitory effect at very early stages during viral reverse transcription.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                15 September 2020
                : 14
                : 3723-3729
                [1 ]Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College , Beijing 100050, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]CAMS Key Laboratory of Antiviral Drug Research, Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College , Beijing 100050, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Si-Tu Xue; Shuo Wu Tel +86-10-63027185; +86-10-63010984 Email xuesitu@imb.pumc.edu.cn; wushuoimb@126.com

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2020 Cui et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 5, References: 22, Pages: 7
                Original Research


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